By Courtney Padrutt
Golden Thread was chartered on January 16th, 2016. At the time we were a small group of magicians getting to know one another, very determined and eager to cultivate a working O.T.O. body in the Pittsburgh area. Our group of five dedicated members joined together to shape a talisman that would represent our group identity.
Here is the story of that sacred process…
From the day we first met, our members did more than shake hands with one another. We did rituals. We would meet in our Temple, prepare the altar, slip into our robes and ceremonially dedicate our work towards the camp.
Being magicians, we had quite a lot of symbols that we worked directly with, and being Thelemites those symbols were even more vast and varied. It was evident that we would need a symbol of our own – a logo – something emblematically unifying. Something with the fluidity of Mercury, able to dance out of the dark soil like a newly sprouted seed. It needed to carry a message and eventually walk around spreading the word on its own.
And predictably, we used a ritual to enact this process…
And a beautiful ritual it was…
In January of 2016 we swooped down upon the black earth, meeting in the halls of darkness to preform a group version of Liber Israfel with woven in lines from Liber Tzaddi. The Temple was our meeting grounds and these two texts mixed together were the perfect consummation of logos and inspiration.
The ritual area should be mostly dark, but with candles placed strategically for enough light to read and sketch by. In the center of the room is an altar and a table to work upon. On the altar is one unlit candle and a wheel with golden threads coming off of the altar. These threads fall to the ground and reach out into the distance. On the working table should be symbols of Thoth/Tahuti, a spool of golden thread, blank pages of paper, sketching pencils, and any other creative inspiration for the purpose of this logo. In the east is the image of Tahuti.
And a very beautiful highlight of Liber Tzaddi within the ritual…
The participants form a circle around the altar (at a distance).
The person in the East begins by turning to their left and reading to the person next to them. They read the following verses from Liber Tzaddi:
(23) Only if ye are sorrowful, or weary, or angry, or discomforted; then ye may know that ye have lost the golden thread, the thread wherewith I guide you to the heart of the groves of Eleusis.
(24) My disciples are proud and beautiful; they are strong and swift; they rule their way like mighty conquerors.
As the person is being read to, they find the end of the golden thread on the floor before them and pick it up. They follow it (taking it up in their hands) towards the altar. Once at the altar, one symbol of their choice is wrapped up with the thread and placed on the altar. Liber Tzaddi is then past to them, and they read to the next person until all are at the altar together.
Once the Breaking Forth of the Light was proclaimed, we sat down to discuss and sketch our ideas.
These fundamental emblems emerged…
The power of communication and group enthusiasm were at work and our logo was now a zygote floating in the realms of aethyr and paper. As we finished the ritual, we let the logo return back into the silence of light.
We dispersed unto our homes; yea, we dispersed unto our homes…
And thus the logo stood between the abyss of height and the abyss of depth. The sketches were in a state which we knew we mustn’t let fade in their season. This is where I, your humble blogger, took out her sketch pen.
Sometimes ideas come streaming from the heavens, and often they only make sense after giving them a warm moment to rest in. As I sat down to sketch, this happened. The Flower of Life appeared in my mind. I saw it unfolding as a poignant portrayal of a group of individuals brought together with a single aim.
I then thought of the ritual sketches which were laid out before me. As I looked at them I saw circles and letters – namely G and T. G representing the path of the High Priestess and T the path of the Universe. Both of these paths lay beautifully on the Middle Pillar, with Art in between.
Many of the ritual sketches possessed both a circle and a needle, encapsulating many ideas at once – female & male, Nuit & Hadit, protection & destruction, looping thread & a purposeful needle. The needle unanimously plunged downward as if touching its tip to Malkuth in each sketch. The Tree of Life was there all along, and so was the Middle Pillar.
And then there are those ideas which jump out of the subliminal waters like a flopping fish. I stared at the Flower of Life like a fisherman watches the water’s surface. In the rippling lines of overlapping circles, I wanted to sink my hook in and catch a Vesica Piscis. From an artist’s perspective, if I was able to do this I would be able to bring out the letters G and T, by bending the top of the T.
And so these further sketches emerged…
Although still in sketch-form, the idea became more beautiful. Using a needle as the vertical part of the T, the eye of the needle was positioned at Tiphareth, a fitting juncture of needle and thread. Suns and Moons began to shine from the images. All that was needed was a rooting out of the weeds and a confirmation from the other members.
Taking well to a final sketch, the other members of Golden Thread unanimously ensured that this was the logo of our Camp…
But how does one get a logo from paper and pen into the realms of usability? The answer is by contacting a Virgo, one that is particularly gifted in the art of graphic design. Lucky for us, we knew such a Virgo.
Expecting the sweep of a sword, we approached Ron Labhart – a Brother from Black Sun Lodge in Cleveland, Ohio – with the pursuit of actualizing our sketch into a vector file. With a steady hand to the mouse, he turned our conceptions into a symmetrically smooth and useful file.
And alas! Our logo was born!
“There is joy in the setting-out;
there is joy in the journey;
there is joy in the goal.”
– Liber Tzaddi v.22
Light, Life, Love & Liberty,
Golden Thread Camp Secretary,